I grew up watching The Ten Commandments with Charlton Heston as Moses. It was on TV every Easter. As a kid, I wondered why they showed this movie every Easter, since it had nothing to do with Easter. I didn’t know much about the Bible at that point, and so I didn’t realize that the Passover, which was instituted during the events in Exodus, was a picture of salvation through Jesus Christ, who would become our Passover Lamb over 1400 years after the first Passover.
While studying for my last post about the chronology of the world, I did a little research into ancient Egypt around the time of Joseph and Moses. I found something interesting, which I saw before, but I wasn’t sure if I had ever said anything here about it, so here goes. Egyptologists have determined the dates for each Dynasty and each Pharaoh in Egypt. I don’t know the methods they used, and so I can’t vouch for their reliability, but after seeing what I’ve gathered, you have to admit it seems pretty compelling.
According to my timeline (see my last post), Joseph came to Egypt in 1898 BC. According to Egyptologists, that means he came to Egypt during the reign of Amenemhat II. The Pharaoh who had the dream about the 14 cows was his son Senusret II. He died right after the seven years of plenty in 1878 BC. Two years later, Jacob moved his family (i.e. the Hebrew nation) to Egypt in 1876 when Senusret III was Pharaoh. There were six complete dynasties of Pharaohs that ruled in between Jacob’s arrival and Moses’ birth.
We now fast-forward through the 350 years from Jacob’s arrival in Egypt to Moses’ birth. The Pharaoh when Moses was born in 1526 was Ahmose I (this is the Pharaoh who killed the babies). He died when Moses was two years old. His son Amenotep I ruled for 21 years, and then Thutmose I ruled for the next ten years. He was succeeded by Thutmose II, who was Pharaoh for 7 years before Moses left Egypt for Midian at age 40.
Thutmose II was Pharaoh for seven more years, and then his son Thutmose III became Pharaoh in 1479. He ruled for 33 years before Moses came back in 1446. He ruled until 1425 , which was 21 years after the Exodus.
Cecil B. DeMille would have you believe that Rameses I was the Pharaoh of the Exodus. There are other theories and other dating methods, and it may not be possible this side of heaven to know for sure who the Pharaoh of the Exodus was. But one piece of information makes me think it was probably Thutmose III. Sources state that Thutmose III’s son Amenemhat was the crown prince, the heir apparent, the next Pharaoh in line. However, he died sometime between the 24th and 35th years of the reign of Thutmose III (that is, sometime from 1455-1444), and his half-brother Amenhotep II became pharaoh. Since the Exodus happened in 1446, this accounts for why Amenemhat died between 1455-1444. Therefore, it seems pretty clear to me that Amenemhat was probably the son of Pharaoh that died in the 10th plague as stated in Exodus 12:29.
I did all this research, and then found out that others have done the same research and came to the same conclusion: Thutmose III was the Pharaoh of the Exodus. I’ll have to ask Moses when I get to heaven, but for now, I’m pretty sure.